Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Bogenshutz, M., Inge, K. J., Rumrill, P. D., Hinterlong, P. C., Seward, H. E. (2016). Barriers to and facilitators of employment among americans with multiple sclerosis: Results of a qualitative focus group study. Journal of Rehabilitation, 82 (2), 59-69.
Title:  Barriers to and facilitators of employment among americans with multiple sclerosis: Results of a qualitative focus group study
Authors:  Bogenshutz, M., Inge, K. J., Rumrill, P. D., Hinterlong, P. C., Seward, H. E.
Year:  2016
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Rehabilitation
Publisher:  National Rehabilitation Association
Full text:  http://proxy.library.vcu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/...    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Qualitative research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease causing a decline in general health and functioning that is more common in women than men. Approximately 59% of adults with MS are unemployed, and 75% of adults surveyed in a different study stated they left their jobs voluntarily, even if they believed themselves still capable of holding a job.
Purpose:  The purpose of this research was to gain information on barriers to gaining and keeping employment from the point of view of an adult with multiple sclerosis.
Setting:  The participants were part of a larger study and recruited via e-mail to participate in phone focus groups.
Study sample:  Of the 27 participants who took part in phone focus groups, 15 were unemployed, and 12 were employed. They were between the ages of 20 and 69, and were mostly female.
Data collection and analysis:  The data was collected via audio recording of the focus groups, and was then professionally transcribed and identifying data expunged. The research team than qualitatively analyzed the information and put together a set of themes and subthemes based on the anecdotes provided by the participants.
Findings:  It was found that the major barriers affecting people with MS in the workplace are feelings of the loss of self-confidence and the questioning of their competency, and coping with having to apply for benefits in the workplace and the uncertainty of their job prospects while they have MS.
Conclusions:  This study shows that vocational rehabilitation counseling can be improved upon, with extra emphasis being necessary in areas such as self-confidence, and self-advocacy when discussing their disability and benefits with their employer.

Disabilities served:  Multiple sclerosis